2018 Rifle of the Year: Savage Arms MSR Line

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posted on May 15, 2018
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Rather than dip its toe in the AR market, Savage Arms elected to introduce an entire line of AR-pattern rifles and carbines—one that continues to expand. The company’s MSR line is also not full of “M4geries,” but rather consists of purpose-built designs using quality components and Savage’s renowned barrels. Not only does the entire line boast the accuracy we’ve come to expect from Savage, each rifle is also competitively priced (another characteristic of the company’s rifles we’ve loved for many years).

Savage Arms entered the AR market boldly, and a detailed look at the company's MSR-15 Recon in this review certainly indicates that the company came into the playing field with some innovative ideas and forward-thinking plans in all four models seen at the start of the lineup. With the rollout of these modern Savage rifles, Savage showed consumers and industry professionals that it certainly isn’t the company it used to be. The introduction of the MSR lineup proves that the manufacturer no longer lives in the past or even the present. These guns, along with the company behind it, are definitely fixtures of the future.

In Shooting Illustrated's review of the MSR-15 Recon, Assistant Editor, Digital Evan Brune noted that the rifle ate every round without any issues. For general plinking purposes inside of 100 yards, the gun will perform well enough using 55-grain M193 ammo, but it clearly prefers at least 62-grain M855 ammo for precision accuracy. Any precision shooting should be performed with heavier-bullet options, and the results will be beyond what one expects from an off-the-shelf AR for less than $1,000.

“Savage chose to aim high in the AR market. The company is not participating in the ‘race to the bottom’ that many other manufacturers are trying to win.” —Evan Brune, Assistant Editor, Digital

Winning Features:
• Mid-length gas system enhances reliability
• 5R rifling for superior accuracy
• Blackhawk furniture, trigger and BUIS
• Slim handguard with M-Lok slots

Caliber: .223 Wylde (tested), .308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor
Capacity: 30 rounds (tested), 20 rounds (.308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor)
Barrel Length: 16.13 inches (tested), 20 inches
Overall Length: 33.5 to 36.75 inches
Weight: 7 pounds
MSRP: $999 (tested)

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